Scones (2)

scones

I’ve been on a bit of a ‘scone-fest’ lately, so you can imagine how happy He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers has been. I have been swapping between recipes, but this one works every time.

2 Cups Self Raising flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon butter

3/4 Cup milk.

Sift the flour and salt three times. No doubt I have said this before, but three times was Nanna J’s rule, and her scones were better than anybody’s.

Rub the butter into the flour using your fingers. Pour in the milk, and very lightly mix the milk in using your fingers until the mixture binds. Spread some flour on the bench and lightly knead until the dough is smooth. (I know ‘lightly’ and ”knead’ contradict each other, but there it is. If the dough is kneaded too much, the scones will be more like rock cakes.)

Roll the dough out to about 2 centimetres thick, then cut out. (I use a floured glass). Place them on the tray, dab the tops with milk and bake at 220 degrees Celsius for about 12 minutes, or until the tops are golden.

I like my scones with butter and honey, while He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers is more of a traditionalist, who eats his with jam and cream.

The only other rule is, eat them while they are hot. As Pa says, a cold scone is a stale scone.

 

 

 

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Cream Puffs

cream puff

I’ve been watching baking shows lately on television, which can be dangerous as I get grand ideas about what to bake. This is only dangerous because there is a huge divide between my skills and patience and what the contestants on the cooking shows are capable of. For example, recently I watched some frazzled people make croquembouche, which are yummy towers of custard-filled profiteroles drizzled with toffee. There is no way on this earth I am ever going to manage to assemble one of these, but as it turned out, Cream Puffs are much the same without all of the effort.

The utensils I have available to me limit my grand ideas too. I had a plastic thing for piping, not sure what it is called but you stuff the mixture into it, then press down on the trigger thing and something recognisable is supposed to come out the bottom. However, the top of the squeezy thing broke, then the mixture squirted out the sides, and then I had a minor tantrum. So I got a plastic bag and cut a hole in the corner and that worked okay, and the biggest benefit was that I could throw the plastic bag away at the end of my cooking session without having to wash up.

1 Cup Plain flour

1 Cup water

125 grams butter

3 eggs (room temperature)

Sift the flour and put aside.

Place the butter and water into a saucepan and melt, then bring to the boil. Take the mixture off the heat, then stir the flour in quickly. The mixture will make a ball.

Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then beat the eggs in one at a time until the mixture is glossy. Cool, then refrigerate.

Pipe these onto an oven tray lied with baking paper in walnut sized balls. If you truly can’t be bother piping, try scooping out teaspoons of the mixture. They will be a bit messier, but hey, they all taste the same.

Cook at 210 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes, then at 170 degrees Celsius for another 25 minutes. The puffs will be golden brown with a bit of a shine.

Cool on a rack, then partly split them to allow the steam out so they stay crisp.

I cheated and used dairy whip out of a tin (with a built-in spray nozzle) to fill the Cream Puffs. I had bought real cream but couldn’t face trying to pipe this as well. He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers scoffed them down.

Nutella Mug Cake

nutella mug

Okay, okay, I know the Nutella Mug Cake looks atrocious in this photo. Believe it or not, it looks even more atrocious in real life.

The smell and taste of this cake is sensational though. Nutella Mug Cake is gooey in the middle and so rich, I could hardly finish mine. Best of all though, there are only four ingredients, and it only takes about a minute to mix up. A couple of minutes in the microwave and your chocolate cravings are satisfied.

This recipe makes four servings. Don’t be piggy and overfill the mugs or you will be cleaning up the overflow from the microwave. (Don’t ask me how I know this).

1/2 Cup Plain flour

1/2 Cup Nutella

6 Tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix everything together until smooth, then divide into four ramekins or microwave proof mugs. Cook each separately in 30 second bursts on high, checking with a toothpick to see if the cakes are cooked.

Cool slightly before eating.

 

Five Minute Chocolate Cake in microwave

mug

I have to admit, I don’t usually make cake recipes that use oil, because I always think I can taste the oil, which puts me off the cake.

However, this is a good, plain recipe perfect for when you need a hot, chocolate dessert in a hurry, which only requires staple ingredients from the pantry.

Not surprisingly, He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers likes this a lot.

1/2 Cup plain flour
1/2 Cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
1/4 Cup milk
1/4 Cup cooking oil
1 tspn vanilla extract

Sift the flour and cocoa into a bowl and stir in the sugar.

Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla and cooking oil together and stir in to the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture into four ramekins or microwave coffee cups and cook separately for three minutes on high. Serve hot with cream.

Nutella Brownies Bites

nutella

This is the best Brownie recipe ever! These are good warm or cold, although not many survived long enough at our house to cool down.

300gm Nutella (I use cheaper hazelnut spreads for cooking)

2 eggs

9 Tblspns plain flour

1/4 Cup white chocolate bits

Place cupcake liners into muffin tin.

Mix all ingredients together and spoon into cupcake liners.

Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.

 

Nectarine Sponge Cake

nectarine 3jpg

I visited someone recently and came away with a bag of nectarines fresh from their tree, so made a couple of Nectarine Cakes with the nectarines I couldn’t eat. This cake would work for any stone fruit.

200gm butter

1 Cup caster sugar

1 Cup self raising flour

1/4 Cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

nectarines, peeled and sliced (I used five, but if you have less, slice them up smaller).

3 eggs (Room temperature. I don’t know the science behind this, but cakes come out better when the ingredients are all at room temperature).

Grease a cake tin using 25 grams of the butter, then line the base with baking paper and smear another 25 grams of butter on the paper. Spread 1/3 of a Cup of the caster onto the sides and base of the cake tin. This is a messy job, but the butter and sugar makes a deliciously syrupy crust on the cake.

nectarine

The next messy job is to peel and slice the nectarines. I’ve heard that if you dip nectarines in boiling water quickly, then dip them in cold water, the peel comes off in your fingers, but I (stupidly) persevered with a knife, which was slow and irritating. Next time I peel nectarines I’m trying the boiling water method.

Once peeled, halve or slice the nectarines and lay them in the bottom of the cake tin, with the inside of the fruit facing up.

nectarine 2

 Beat the butter and the remaining 2/3 Cup of caster sugar using beaters until the mixture is creamy, then beat the eggs in one at a time.

Fold in half of the flour, then the milk and vanilla extract, then finish with the flour.

Smooth the batter over the nectarines, then bake at 160 degrees Celsius for around 40 minutes (stick a skewer in to check that the cake is cooked through).

Let the cake sit in the tin for five minutes before turning it out onto a plate.

 

Carrot Cake

carrot 2

Honey Bunny and my favourite son in law have a fondness for Carrot Cake.

Cake

3/4 Cup self raising flour

1/2 Cup plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 Cup brown sugar

3 large finely grated carrots

1/2 Cup oil (I used sunflower oil)

2 eggs

1/2 Cup sour cream

Cream Cheese Icing

60gm cream cheese

30gm butter

rind from 1 lemon

1 1/2 Cups icing sugar

Grease and line a ring pan. I don’t have a ring pan, so I greased a ramekin and stuck it in the middle of a round cake tin. You can move the ramekin around to centre it, after the cake batter goes in if you need to.

carrot 3

Sift the flour, spices and bi-carb soda together, then stir in the carrots and sugar.

Mix the eggs, oil and sour cream together, then stir into the flour mixture.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 50 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius. Turn the cake onto a wire rack to cool, then ice.

carrot 4

Cream Cheese Icing

Place the cream cheese and the butter into a bowl and soften. Add the lemon rind and beat together, then add the icing sugar half a cup at a time and beat well.

carrot

 

 

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake

brownie

150gm butter

300gm dark chocolate (I like Nestle dark chocolate melts)

3 eggs

1 Cup caster sugar

1 1/2 Cups plain flour

1/4 Cup sour cream

250gm cream cheese

Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan, (make sure you lick the bowl – the scrape-outs are the best part about cooking).

brownie 2

Whisk two of the eggs. Add the whisked eggs and 2/3 Cup caster sugar to the melted chocolate and butter and stir together.

Add the flour and sour cream to the chocolate mixture and stir in.

In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and the remaining 1/3 Cup sugar together. Add the egg and beat until just combined.

Grease and line a square tin with baking paper (my old friend) and spoon the chocolate mixture into the tin in blobs. Spoon the cream cheese mix in around the chocolate and use a knife or skewer to swirl it around. I tried for a marble effect but didn’t quite pull it off.

Bake for 55 minutes at 165 degrees Celsius. Cool in the tin.

 

 

 

Chocolate Orange Cake

orange2

 

Until I iced this cake with Chocolate Ganache, it was probably the healthiest cake I’ve ever made. The cake was a little bitter for my taste, but everyone else seemed to like it.

1 orange

1/2 Cup maple syrup

3 eggs

2 Cups almond meal

1/2 Cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Boil the orange for about an hour, until it is soft. Process the whole orange to a pulpy mess.

orange

Add the maple syrup vanilla extract and eggs to the orange and mix well. Add the almond meal, cocoa and cinnamon and mix lightly until everything is just mixed in.

Bake in a lined tin for 55 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Cool the cake in the tin before icing.

Chocolate Ganache

200gm good quality dark chocolate

100gm cream

Heat the cream until boiling, then mix in the chocolate and stir until melted.

 

Caramel Mud Cake

mud

This recipe made a bit too much mixture for the cake tins I have, so I made some Patty Cakes (cup cakes) too.

mud2

I made a Caramel Buttercream to ice the cake, but it didn’t really suit the cake. I’ve included the recipe below, but a glazed icing would probably look and taste better than the buttercream. Notice my first attempts to use a piping bag…not great!

150gm butter
150gm white chocolate
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C milk
1 and a 1/2 Tblspns golden syrup
3/4 C plain flour
3/4 C self raising flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Place the butter, chocolate, brown sugar and milk in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until combined. Pour into a large mixing bowl and cool.

mud3

Whisk in the flour, followed by the egg.

Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes in a greased and lined tin. Stand in tin for a few minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool.

Caramel Icing (Caramel Buttercream)

250gm butter
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tblspns golden syrup
1 Tblspn milk

Beat the butter, sugar and golden syrup until fluffy, then beat in the milk.